Just one more reason coffee is vastly superior to tea

By Tim Nelson
February 07, 2018
Photo Nichola Sarah via Getty Images

Coffee is already one of the primary fuel sources for most working professionals around the world. But thanks to a new project in London has its way, coffee won’t just coax you out of bed, but also power the public transportation that takes you to the office as well. 

In an attempt to explore fossil fuel alternatives, a partnership between Shell, Argent Energy, biofuel company Bio-Bean, and Transport for London, the city’s iconic double-decker buses will soon run on “B20 Biofuel”, a proprietary combination of oil from coffee ground extracts and diesel. Best of all, there are no modification required for buses to run on B20. 

Currently, Bio-Bean has enough on hand (six thousand litres) to power one bus for a year, but access to raw material shouldn’t be an issue once things get up and running. Londoners consume an estimated 20 million cups of coffee each day, which adds up to roughly 200,000 tons of coffee waste over the course of a year. With Bio-Bean’s current annual refinement capacity coming in around 50,000 tons, they’ll surely have their work cut out for them. 

This also isn’t the first time TfL has turned to biofuels to power its public transportation. According to the BBC waste byproducts from cooking oil and tallow from meat processing is already fueling some of the city’s bus fleet. Given London mayor Sadiq Khan’s recent declaration that all new single-decker buses in London will run on zero-emission fuels starting next year, coffee-powered B20 looks to be a suitable complement to the electronic buses the city plans to purchase in the months and years ahead. Just one more reason to feel good about your morning latte.